Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Bonefish Flat Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Zane

When fly fishing in saltwater, we can have an endless debate about what is the most important piece of equipment an angler needs. Fly rods, fly reels, fly lines. Don’t forget the right fly. But if you’re sight fishing, or even just reading the water, polarized glasses are mandatory.

There are a whole host of polarized glasses on the market, but in my mind, Costa Del Mar’s with 580 lenses stands out above the rest.
Me and the Zanes landing a bonefish
A few years ago, Costa introduced the revolutionary 580 lenses. According to Costa, the 580's "Use patented technology to cut down on the yellow light, allowing the eye to see more red, blue and green. Simply put, they're the most advanced glare-beating polarized sun lenses on the planet, and they'll change the way you see, period."

I’ve had a chance to test Costa’s Zane model with silver mirror lenses now for a few months and have really been pleased with the results. The silver mirror is actually a copper shade which is very similar to the green mirror that Costa makes. I have a pair of green mirrors, too, which are amber based and the difference is very subtle. I found that the silver lenses let in just a tad more light making the flats a bit brighter. This is perfect for early morning before you have full sun. During the day, I found that I still got enough shade from the sun as typically we’re fishing with broad brimmed hats, anyway.

While bonefishing in the Bahamas, I wore these shades exclusively and found that I had no trouble spotting fish (if you discount for the wind, which when Costa finds a way to see through the chop, that will truly be a miracle). In fact, there was a few times I even spotted fish before my guide.

The lenses just create a contrast that is highly conducive to spotting fish.

Over Memorial Day, I had an opportunity to fish the Chesapeake Bay with the Zane’s and was equally impressed in this situation. While you can’t see more than two or three feet into the Bay’s waters, the 580 lenses really give you a leg up in reading the water. In fact, I was able to spot two big rays that were chasing a school of bait fish.
My Zanes and Sharky
When you think about it, unless you’re a guide or extremely fortunate and get to fish every day, you end up wearing your shades off the water more than on. The silver mirror 580’s are a great lens for driving blocking enough sunlight to keep you comfortable while making your surroundings look like a picture on your high definition T.V.

My advice for buying a new pair of polarized glasses is simple. Get yourself a pair of Costa’s with 580 lenses. The Zane is made for a bigger noggin, and they fit me perfect. The shades come in different sizes so make sure to pick one that fits your face size. Costa Zane’s are comfortable to wear and provide a lot of lens area to really cover your eyes. Costa offers a limited lifetime warranty and they stand behind their product. In short, I wouldn’t be caught on any saltwater flat without mine.

Before you buy, be sure to visit Costa’s Web site to check out frame sizes, styles, and more information on specific lenses.

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